A Day of Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

a day of silence

As a mother of a kindergartner and a 2nd grader, I cannot just move along with own little perfect life without stopping, acknowledging and grieving for the lives lost on Friday. While it should be a time to finish up Christmas shopping, bake holiday treats and celebrate the season, I feel stuck. All weekend we avoided the news and avoided any talk of this event, to protect our young children from this horrific nightmare. Last night, I felt compelled to talk to Tommy so that he wouldn’t go to school this morning and hear rumors about the shooting. He is a very sensitive and I wanted him to know something was going on so he wouldn’t be scared if kids started talking about it at school. I choked back the tears as I told him that innocent people were shot by a crazy person. He asked where and I cringed as I explained it was at a school and that children were killed. He asked how old the kids were. He asked how many. He asked if they got the guy. I explained that the shooter killed himself and he chuckled and asked why would he do that? This is something a 7 year old should never have to exposed to or try to understand. This something a 7 year old should never have to be scared of. All I could do is reassure him that it happened far away (yet it’s not that far) and that he is safe.

Now that the kids are off to school today, I can’t help but watch the news and see the details unfold about a community getting ready to handle the task of burying their children. I can’t stop paying attention. I can’t let it go, at least not today. I can’t blog about parties and tell you about all the good things going on because it all just seems so trivial. So NOT important. I know we all need to keep moving forward with our lives and our normal routine, but how do we make sure that we aren’t going to quickly forget about what happened to this community, not unlike our own?

 

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I totally understand what you’re saying. When explaining it to my second grade son, he chuckled and said, “People can’t kill children!” I honestly think he thought I was joking…which then made me sad & a bit mad that a little bit of his innocence had to be swept away.

    • 2

      says

      It’s just awful, isn’t Carrie? I was so nervous to even tell him, but felt it was better for him to hear it from us and not from kids at school.

  2. 3

    Marta M says

    I have daughters the same age as your kids. We talked about it this morning in as much detail as you. My girls cried and my 5 yr old said why didn’t he say sorry to the parents? Crazy that we have to explain this situation to our young kids, but better is with the truth than stories from school.
    Praying for all of the families. Praying for the rest o us as well who need wisdom on how to share with our kids the horrific events.

    • 4

      says

      It is so hard. I decided not to talk to my 5 year old. I just think she is too young to understand it at all, while my 7 year old is very perceptive and I knew he would have a lot of questions. I also assumed that the older children would be more likely to be talking about it at school, rather than the kindergartners. Hoping that she isn’t exposed to it today or ever.

  3. 7

    says

    No disrespect, Kim, but personally I think you may be a little wrong. It IS important! I believe that since discovering you and your blog, my kids lives have been just a little more fun and magical! You have inspired me to make every event and every day just a little more fun, and bright, and whimsical, and a celebration. I think that is very important — now more than ever!

    I have spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about the events that happened on Friday and holding my kids a little tighter than normal. Although they (ages 3 and 7) know nothing about what happened on Friday, they seemed to instinctively know what I needed most this weekend — I heard more random and unsolicited “I love you’s” then I think I’ve ever heard. I’ve been trying to think of the best way to honor those beautiful children, and to me, only one thing seems right. We need to Celebrate our lives. Celebrate our children. Celebrate their innocence. Celebrate the season. Make this season even more magical for our kids. Laugh with them. Play with them. Be silly with them. Be patient with them. Bake cookies. Sing Christmas songs. Drive around and look at the lights. Celebrate childhood, especially for those 20 beautiful souls who’s childhood was taken away for them. Don’t let evil win. It may seem trivial, but it’s SO not!! This is a magical time for our kids and can be for us. We can’t and will never forget, but we can remember and celebrate these children by celebrating our own!

    What you do, for me at least (and I’m sure many others) is inspire me to do all the things I mentioned above and to remember just how magical and special childhood can and should be! And with all the hurting we are doing right now, I think this is more important than ever. Anyway, those are just my thoughts on this… Merry Christmas to you and your family, Kim :)

    • 8

      says

      Thank you, Nikki. I sincerely appreciate your kind words. You are right. I did spend the weekend hugging and loving my kids even more than usual. I just would look at them and feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and thankfulness. I completely agree with you that we to take this awful event and use it as a reminder of how blessed we are to have happy, healthy little ones and celebrate our families. But I feel the need to take a moment to give respect to the families that won’t be celebrating. I also want to find a way to remember and remind myself and others to give the type of love and attention that we gave our kids this weekend in light of this event, to them every single day. To stop and slow down and enjoy every moment with them, not just today or this week but always.

      • 9

        says

        I understand, Kim. And of course, we all grieve and reflect in our own ways. And I completely agree with you that we need to enjoy all the little moments, and make sure our children, family and friends, know how we feel about them all the time…and that our little ones get inundated with love and kisses 365 days a year, and not just when something tragic happens. It’s truly heart breaking what has happened and I personally will do everything I can to make sure that the days leading up to and including Christmas are magical and memorable for my two little ones, and will do so in honor of those 20 precious souls and the 6 that gave their lives protecting them all. And I’m even more grateful now that I have taken the week of Christmas off, so that I can spend even more time with them. When I dropped her off at school this morning, my 7 yo daughter had no idea what happened. I only hope that she won’t find out at school, because I honestly don’t know how I’d talk to her about it.

  4. 10

    Tina Dahl says

    As the mother of 6 1/2 year old twins, I cannot get my head around this senseless tragedy. I did not have any news on all weekend so the kids would not see anything. I chose to not explain anything to them because I myself can’t even talk about it without breaking down and I didn’t want to scare them. If they do hear something and ask about it, I hope I will do my best and TRY to “explain” it to them. I think you were very brave to explain it to Tommy, Kim. I cannot fathom how many people are suffering because of the actions of one person. My heart just breaks over and over and over. I applaud you for taking time out to recognize all those that are grieving and in my own little way, may I extend my deepest sympathies for all those however affected. So terribly, terribly sad……

  5. 12

    says

    Very well said. I spoke with my 3 and 6 year olds about it briefly on Friday, since they listen to WAY more in adult conversations than I wish they would. We are always careful about what we say around them, but they sometimes come up and ask a question about something they overheard. We chose to keep the news off all weekend so they wouldn’t hear any of the major details, but were very honest and let them ask questions so that there were no surprises if the 6-year-old heard anything at school today. I did remind him this morning that not every parent is telling their kids, so please don’t talk about it in case a family has decided not to talk about it.

    As far as our lives…I’m choosing not to let the evil from this into our lives. I’m occasionally reading the names of the lives lost and when I feel like it won’t make me break down, I look at their pictures and read the wonderful tidbits about the light they brought to the lives of their loved ones. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, and I want to make sure to still focus on the magic that our kids create for us and the fun things I can do with and for them. I am heartbroken. I definitely hugged my kids tighter. I allowed them to be rowdier than usual in the house this weekend, because there were 20 homes who would have welcomed that craziness.

  6. 13

    says

    Thank you Kim. I feel ‘stuck’ in the same way you do. My twin girls are turning 3 this Sunday and it was nearly impossible to shop for their party and gifts this past weekend without being interrupted by thoughts of those parents who won’t be able to give their little ones their Christmas gifts this year. I shudder to think of how the pain and grief such a great loss may have immobilized them, if I am so far removed from it all and feel this way. I chose not to watch one minute of coverage on tv this weekend, but now that I am in front of a computer all day it is hard to turn away from all the stories and posts and tweets. I don’t know how parents could send their little ones to school and day care today. My girls and 8-month old son stay home with my husband while I am off to work, and it broke my heart to leave them, only to drive to work in tears as I listened to updates on the radio. May peace be with the community of Newtown, and may we all find the strength to move past these solemn days for the pure sake of our little ones, who should never have to face such tragic news. Much love and hugs. xoxo

  7. 15

    says

    I’ve been avoiding news and even facebook for these past days. Thanks God my kids finished school on Friday, I can’t tell them, I am not strong enough… I admire you for doing it, I dont know you in person, but I have been following you enough to know that it must have been one of the most difficult things for you to do. I also admire you for making this post, a day of silence for these beautiful angels and for those parents that will not celebrate anything again. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

  8. 16

    Wendy says

    So so true. Thanks for this post Kim. We should grieve not only for the children, but also for the brave teachers and faculty that died protecting them. This breaks my heart!

  9. 19

    Nicole Troccoli says

    I have not said anything to my 5 year old! She is in love with school and is very sensitive so I don’t want to alarm her! I did have a conversation with her about safety and talking to her teachers and us (parents) about anything she may hear at school that bothered her!

    I really think all anyone can do is love and encourage their children to be the best they can, and have confidence that if we all work together in this country to be good roll models as parents our youth may change the path in this country! My heart is with all the victims of this awful tragedy and the lives that were lost will be forever in my thoughts!

    I know that your posts always make me happy and help to chip away at the hardness and tragedy that I see every day! Happy Christmas to you and your famil yxoxo

  10. 20

    says

    Kim…I love you to pieces. Your post is perfect. I know how hard that must’ve been talking to Tommy. When I sat down with my sensitive 13 year old, Ema, I couldn’t control the tears while trying to read to her the account from the news segment on my phone. It’s so incomprehensible. I hope your sweet Kate doesn’t come home with questions today. Prayers for healing for the families and everyone touched by this. Hugs sweet friend!

  11. 21

    says

    Thank you Kim for writing this today. I am also taking the day off from blogging and trying to read through the thoughts and emotions of all of the girls I follow. My son is Tommy’s age and I still have not been able to get the courage up to talk to him about what happened. He is in year-around school and is currently tracked out so I have been blessed not to have to rush it right now. I’ve kept the news turned off so he hasn’t seen anything yet. I’m hoping to get the courage soon. I was also so moved by your artwork that you created with the 26 hearts. I hope it is okay with you, I shared your art on my blog this afternoon in my post for prayer and remembrance. As always I’ll be here as a loyal reader when you come back. God Bless you and your family!

  12. 22

    renee says

    As a mother of three girls ages 2, 8, and 10, we have had several conversations over the weekend about this tragedy. My older girls both wanted to talk about it and knew about it through friends. My oldest was in three performances of our community Nutcracker ballet this weekend, and all of the parents and grandparents (and the entire community) came together during the shows to celebrate our children this weekend — and we had moments of silence before each show. At home, we made little gingerbread houses on Sunday morning, and today we are making peppermint bark and chocolate pretzels for teachers. We are celebrating the lives lost through our own traditions … and I’m shedding little tears here and there thinking about the mothers and fathers who aren’t doing this with their children just before Christmas.

  13. 23

    Jan says

    Feeling so bad over here in Australia for all too.
    Hard to understand.

    It is time to take stock and realize friends and family are so precious.

    Joy and Love abound and parties, Christmas and get togethers are the best memories.

    By blogging of the happy times and beautiful products used you make people feel the inspiration and care that goes into everything.

    There is so much love in the world we all need to reach out and give and remember to receive it too.

    Blessings to all from Australia

  14. 24

    Heather says

    Thank you so much for this post. Reiterates why
    I follow you and am thankful for individuals as yourself that take the time to share in the stuff that is not so fun. I was shocked to see how many people on Instagram and bloggers that I follow that have not even acknowledged this tragedy and are continuing to post about what they wore to the mall this weekend. So sad to me. I too have a five year old and can’t bring myself to tell her. I have been in touch with her all weekend and she told me how today she hugged each kid all day and it was such a day of healing for her.

    Let us all Try and remember our pain and everyone
    Directly involved’s pain and never take another day for granted!

  15. 25

    says

    Kim,

    This was a very hard weekend for us too. You are so right!

    We run America’s largest bridal show every January in Phoenix and I love to read your posts. You are thoughtful and kind and hope so many small businesses in Arizona. We appreicate you and we too cry with you and remember that these parents have presents under the tree for children that will never receive them. Teachers that are scared to go to work.

    Thank you,
    Shannon Underwood

  16. 26

    says

    My husband and I didn’t say a word to our children. Our 10 yr old and 6 yr old girls go to catholic school and The 2 yr old daughhter doesn’t know any different. At school they said a prayer but the school did not discuss it either. I’m not sure what the right or wrong thing…if there is any…to do is and I can’t stop thinking about these sweet children. But what I do know is this: let this be a reminder, or maybe a lesson, on how important what we do as individuals and as parents is each and everyday. We must love, support and be connected with our children. We must teach them. We must nurture them. Hug them. Kiss them. Protect them. Teach them right from wrong. We must instill values and morals. Why? Because it is us, the parent, who must raise civil and kind hearted children who will grow and blossom to become respectable people of society. And if our children have problems or issues, we must not lose them to darkness. So yes, it is respectful to have a moment of silence…but this moment must stay with us and be a reminder that we need to continue to celebrate our children, celebrate our lives and make happiness not darkness. The greatest gift we can give Newtown right now is what we all who write on this blog seem to love to do…create happiness. We must continue to create happy environments and Create happy people. We must not let the crazy person become the center of our attention. If we work to create and build happiness, together, no one will b alone. Newtown will feel the love. They will see the love. But let’s not let anyone see what the crazy guy wants….darkness.
    I once read…stars are the lights from heaven shining thru as all our loved ones peek down on us.
    Let’s embrace the magic of the season and take a moment to look up and wave back.
    Love to all,
    Heather

  17. 27

    Melissa says

    I appreciate you post. I’m a mommy to two healthy kindergartners and got to come home with them Friday night. I made it through the door, before I excused myself and began bawling. I’m still numb. I’m also a first grade teacher and the irrational part of me had a parent volunteer cover the windows of an attached office to my classroom. That’s where I would hide all 26 of my students. I’m humbled and blessed, and avoided a Christmas party, so I could stay home and read Christmas stories to my kids. This tragedy has reminded me to be more gentle, more patient, more loving. I didn’t tell my five year olds, my students did not mention it, but driving up to the school and seeing the flag at half staff was particularly hard. Thank you for remembering all of the victims. May God bless you and them, and all of your families.

  18. 28

    says

    beautiful post, kim. and the graphic is so touching. thank you for that. i’ve been able to post photos of the moments i’ve cherished and am grateful for these past few days, but words…not so much, except about my feelings about the tragedy.
    as difficult as it is for us, it’s unimaginable what those parents are going through. i’ve been feeling the need for more sense of community and have been seeking it out online. it’s nice to see it here in our ‘own’ community. thanks for being so open and sharing your thoughts.

  19. 29

    Janelle says

    Thank you for writing such a heartfelt post, Kim. How difficult it must have been for you to try to explain this horrific event to your sweet innocent son! My three children are grown now, so the conversation is on a different level…thought-provoking discussions about how the families have been affected, and the larger issue of how we move on as a society. But I can’t tell you how many times this weekend I’ve reflected back on when they were cute little first graders – so precious!

    Like you, I’ve felt stuck. It’s not that Christmas preparations & festivities are not important (quite the contrary!!). It’s just that some of the trivial things got prioritized very quickly. I’ve had to take a couple of days to pause from the holiday ‘have to do’ list and take a deep breath. Right now I just want to focus on our family being together at Christmas. If some of the extras I had planned don’t get done, well that’s OK too.

    I’ve been a follower of your blog from way back in the beginning, Kim, but after seeing this post I have a renewed sense of respect for you. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful graphic and for all of the wonderful ways you enrich our families’ lives!!!

  20. 31

    says

    Thank you all for your comments. I will be responding more as soon as time allows. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate reading your feelings and knowing that we all share in this sadness.

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